A documentary covering the deaths of Dennis and Norma Woodruff, who were killed near Royse City more than 16 years ago, is scheduled to return for a presentation in Greenville this month.
Producers of "Texas Justice: Brandon Woodruff" have planned a screening of the film at the Texan Theater, 2712 Lee Street, at 7 p.m. Sept. 25. The documentary was first presented in Greenville in May.
Richard Ray, formerly of Fox 4 News in Dallas, will headline the event and will also moderate a question and answer session following a presentation of the documentary. Ray said he hoped Mike Ware will be on hand for the screening and the after session. Ware directs the Texas A&M School of Law Innocence Project, part of Texas A&M Legal Clinics, in collaboration with The Innocence Project of Texas.
Tickets for the event are $7.50 in advance and are available through eventbrite.com
As the prosecution was not seeking the death penalty, Woodruff received an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.
Documentary producer Scott Poggensee with The American Justice Podcast intends to present a Change.org petition to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to hear Woodruff’s appeal, which had collected more than 1,500 signatures.
The film details what became one of the most controversial murder cases in recent memory in Hunt County.
The jury in the 354th District Court returned the guilty verdict after some five hours of deliberations, following two weeks of testimony.
Prior to the trial, the case was the source of months of debate between the prosecution and defense. Then-354th District Court Judge Richard A. Beacom ruled Woodruff’s Sixth Amendment constitutional rights to confidentiality were violated when prosecutors listened to the recordings of telephone calls from the jail between Woodruff and his defense team.
After the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office recused itself from the case, Beacom appointed special prosecutors from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, but refused motions from defense attorneys to throw out the case against Woodruff and dismiss the capital murder indictment outright.
The case has previously been presented back to the 354th District Court for the consideration of a retrial and to the Sixth District Court of Appeals in Texarkana and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, all of which upheld the conviction.